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Thursday July 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Evander Kane and the number nine

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Rumors,

Evander KaneAs the Winnipeg Jets continue to sort out the many issues facing them before returning to the ice this fall, one of the more publicized issues revolves around Evander Kane and his wearing of the number nine. That’s the same number that former Winnipeg Jet and Hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull wore and was retired by the first incarnation of the Jets. While technically that history now belongs to the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, many think it’s wrong for Kane to wear the iconic number.


Even though these new Jets are coming from Atlanta, not too many see the disconnect between then and now. This is as much Winnipeg’s team now as it was 15 years ago when it moved to Phoenix, and the history that was made in Winnipeg hasn’t been forgotten – not by the fans at least. Kane himself acknowledges there’s a bit of an elephant in the room, and has even said he may not wear the number if he can’t get Hull’s blessing to do so.

Technically, the number nine (as well as 10 and 25, which were worn by Dale Hawerchuk and Thomas Steen) are retired in Phoenix now, not Winnipeg, or else there’s no issue here. Instead, Kane wants to continue wearing the number he grew up with and as a consequence, mess with the history of one of the greatest players in hockey history. But the final decision isn’t really Kane’s to make over what number he wears.

Should the Jets management even consider letting a 19 year old dictate how it’s going to be? If Kane does wear number nine, regardless of the circumstance he’ll be under a considerable amount of pressure. He doesn’t exactly have to live up to 50-goal seasons year after year, but becoming a bust and tarnishing the number won’t endear him the fans. If he does wear it, he better have a season that goes beyond even his own expectations.



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